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2 Chronicles 10:1--12:16

The Northern Tribes Rebel

10:1 Rehoboam traveled to Shechem, for all Israel had gathered in 1  Shechem to make Rehoboam 2  king. 10:2 When Jeroboam son of Nebat heard the news, he was still in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon. Jeroboam returned from Egypt. 10:3 They sent for him 3  and Jeroboam and all Israel came and spoke to Rehoboam, saying, 10:4 “Your father made us work too hard! 4  Now if you lighten the demands he made and don’t make us work as hard, we will serve you.” 5  10:5 He said to them, “Go away for three days, then return to me.” So the people went away.

10:6 King Rehoboam consulted with the older advisers who had served 6  his father Solomon when he had been alive. He asked them, 7  “How do you advise me to answer these people?” 10:7 They said to him, “If you are fair to these people, grant their request, and are cordial to them, they will be your servants from this time forward.” 8  10:8 But Rehoboam rejected their advice and consulted the young advisers who served him, with whom he had grown up. 9  10:9 He asked them, “How do you advise me to respond to these people who said to me, ‘Lessen the demands your father placed on us’?” 10  10:10 The young advisers with whom Rehoboam 11  had grown up said to him, “Say this to these people who have said to you, ‘Your father made us work hard, but now lighten our burden’ 12  – say this to them: ‘I am a lot harsher than my father! 13  10:11 My father imposed heavy demands on you; I will make them even heavier. 14  My father punished you with ordinary whips; I will punish you with whips that really sting your flesh.’” 15 

10:12 Jeroboam and all the people reported to Rehoboam on the third day, just as the king had ordered when he said, “Return to me on the third day.” 10:13 The king responded to the people harshly. He 16  rejected the advice of the older men 10:14 and followed the advice of the younger ones. He said, “My father imposed heavy demands on you; 17  I will make them even heavier. 18  My father punished you with ordinary whips; I will punish you with whips that really sting your flesh.” 19  10:15 The king refused to listen to the people, because God was instigating this turn of events 20  so that he might bring to pass the prophetic announcement he had made 21  through Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam son of Nebat.

10:16 When all Israel saw that the king refused to listen to them, the people answered the king, “We have no portion in David – no share in the son of Jesse! 22  Return to your homes, O Israel! 23  Now, look after your own dynasty, O David!” 24  So all Israel returned to their homes. 25  10:17 (Rehoboam continued to rule over the Israelites who lived in the cities of Judah.) 10:18 King Rehoboam sent Hadoram, 26  the supervisor of the work crews, out after them, but the Israelites stoned him to death. King Rehoboam managed to jump into his chariot and escape to Jerusalem. 27  10:19 So Israel has been in rebellion against the Davidic dynasty to this very day.

11:1 When Rehoboam arrived in Jerusalem, he summoned 180,000 skilled warriors from Judah and Benjamin 28  to attack Israel and restore the kingdom to Rehoboam. 11:2 But the Lord told Shemaiah the prophet, 29  11:3 “Say this to King Rehoboam son of Solomon of Judah and to all the Israelites in Judah and Benjamin, 11:4 ‘The Lord says this: “Do not attack and make war with your brothers. Each of you go home, for I have caused this to happen.”’” 30  They obeyed the Lord and called off the attack against Jeroboam. 31 

Rehoboam’s Reign

11:5 Rehoboam lived in Jerusalem; 32  he built up these fortified cities throughout Judah: 11:6 Bethlehem, 33  Etam, Tekoa, 11:7 Beth Zur, Soco, Adullam, 11:8 Gath, Mareshah, Ziph, 11:9 Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah, 11:10 Zorah, Aijalon, and Hebron. These were the fortified cities in Judah and Benjamin. 11:11 He fortified these cities and placed officers in them, as well as storehouses of food, olive oil, and wine. 11:12 In each city there were shields and spears; he strongly fortified them. 34  Judah and Benjamin belonged to him.

11:13 The priests and Levites who lived throughout Israel supported him, no matter where they resided. 35  11:14 The Levites even left their pasturelands and their property behind and came to Judah and Jerusalem, for Jeroboam and his sons prohibited them from serving as the Lord’s priests. 11:15 Jeroboam 36  appointed his own priests to serve at the worship centers 37  and to lead in the worship of the goat idols and calf idols he had made. 38  11:16 Those among all the Israelite tribes who were determined to worship the Lord God of Israel followed them to Jerusalem 39  to sacrifice to the Lord God of their ancestors. 40  11:17 They supported 41  the kingdom of Judah and were loyal to 42  Rehoboam son of Solomon for three years; they followed the edicts of 43  David and Solomon for three years.

11:18 Rehoboam married 44  Mahalath the daughter of David’s son Jerimoth and of 45  Abihail, the daughter of Jesse’s son Eliab. 11:19 She bore him sons named Jeush, Shemariah, and Zaham. 11:20 He later married Maacah the daughter of Absalom. She bore to him Abijah, Attai, Ziza, and Shelomith. 11:21 Rehoboam loved Maacah daughter of Absalom more than his other wives and concubines. 46  He had eighteen wives and sixty concubines; he fathered twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters.

11:22 Rehoboam appointed Abijah son of Maacah as the leader over his brothers, for he intended to name him his successor. 47  11:23 He wisely placed some of his many sons throughout the regions of Judah and Benjamin in the various fortified cities. 48  He supplied them with abundant provisions and acquired many wives for them. 49 

12:1 After Rehoboam’s rule was established and solidified, he and all Israel rejected the law of the Lord. 12:2 Because they were unfaithful to the Lord, in King Rehoboam’s fifth year, King Shishak of Egypt attacked Jerusalem. 12:3 He had 1,200 chariots, 60,000 horsemen, and an innumerable number of soldiers who accompanied him from Egypt, including Libyans, Sukkites, and Cushites. 12:4 He captured the fortified cities of Judah and marched against Jerusalem.

12:5 Shemaiah the prophet visited Rehoboam and the leaders of Judah who were assembled in Jerusalem because of Shishak. He said to them, “This is what the Lord says: ‘You have rejected me, so I have rejected you and will hand you over to Shishak.’” 50  12:6 The leaders of Israel and the king humbled themselves and said, “The Lord is just.” 51  12:7 When the Lord saw that they humbled themselves, he gave this message to Shemaiah: 52  “They have humbled themselves, so I will not destroy them. I will deliver them soon. 53  My anger will not be unleashed against 54  Jerusalem through 55  Shishak. 12:8 Yet they will become his subjects, so they can experience how serving me differs from serving the surrounding nations.” 56 

12:9 King Shishak of Egypt attacked Jerusalem and took away the treasures of the Lord’s temple and of the royal palace; he took everything, including the gold shields that Solomon had made. 12:10 King Rehoboam made bronze shields to replace them and assigned them to the officers of the royal guard 57  who protected the entrance to the royal palace. 12:11 Whenever the king visited the Lord’s temple, the royal guards carried them and then brought them back to the guardroom. 58 

12:12 So when Rehoboam 59  humbled himself, the Lord relented from his anger and did not annihilate him; 60  Judah experienced some good things. 61  12:13 King Rehoboam solidified his rule in Jerusalem; 62  he 63  was forty-one years old when he became king and he ruled for seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city the Lord chose from all the tribes of Israel to be his home. 64  Rehoboam’s 65  mother was an Ammonite named Naamah. 12:14 He did evil because he was not determined to follow the Lord. 66 

12:15 The events of Rehoboam’s reign, from start to finish, are recorded 67  in the Annals of Shemaiah the prophet and of Iddo the seer that include genealogical records. 12:16 Then Rehoboam passed away 68  and was buried in the City of David. 69  His son Abijah replaced him as king.

1 tn Heb “come [to].”

2 tn Heb “him”; the referent (Rehoboam) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

3 tn Heb “They sent and called for him.”

4 tn Heb “made our yoke burdensome.”

5 tn Heb “but you, now, lighten the burdensome work of your father and the heavy yoke which he placed on us, and we will serve you.” In the Hebrew text the prefixed verbal form with vav (וְנַעַבְדֶךָ, vÿnaavdekha, “and we will serve you”) following the imperative (הָקֵל, haqel, “lighten”) indicates purpose/result. The conditional sentence used in the present translation is an attempt to bring out the logical relationship between these forms.

6 tn Heb “stood before.”

7 tn Heb “saying.”

8 tn Heb “If today you are for good to these people and you are favorable to them and speak to them good words, they will be your servants all the days.”

9 tn Heb “Rehoboam rejected the advice of the elders which they advised and he consulted the young men with whom he had grown up, who stood before him.”

10 tn Heb “Lighten the yoke which your father placed on us.”

11 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Rehoboam) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

12 tn Heb “Your father made our yoke heavy, but make it lighter upon us.”

13 tn Heb “My little one is thicker than my father’s hips.” The referent of “my little one” is not clear. The traditional view is that it refers to the little finger (so NEB, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT). As the following statement makes clear, Rehoboam’s point is that he is more harsh and demanding than his father.

14 tn Heb “and now my father placed upon you a heavy yoke, but I will add to your yoke.”

15 tn Heb “My father punished you with whips, but I [will punish you] with scorpions.” “Scorpions” might allude to some type of torture, but more likely it refers to a type of whip that inflicts an especially biting, painful wound.

16 tn Heb “Rehoboam.” The pronoun “he” has been used in the translation in place of the proper name in keeping with contemporary English style.

17 tc The Hebrew text reads, “I will make heavy your yoke,” but many medieval Hebrew mss and other ancient textual witnesses have, “my father made heavy your yoke.”

18 tn Heb “but I will add to your yoke.”

19 tn Heb “My father punished you with whips, but I [will punish you] with scorpions.” “Scorpions” might allude to some type of torture, but more likely it refers to a type of whip that inflicts an especially biting, painful wound.

20 tn Heb “because this turn of events was from God.”

21 tn Heb “so that the Lord might bring to pass his word which he spoke.”

22 sn The people’s point seems to be that they have no familial relationship with David that brings them any benefits or places upon them any obligations. They are being treated like outsiders.

23 tn Heb “each one to your tents, Israel.” The word “return” is supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

24 tn Heb “Now see your house, David.”

25 tn Heb “went to their tents.”

26 sn In the parallel account in 1 Kgs 12:18 this name appears as “Adoniram.”

27 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

28 tn Heb “he summoned the house of Judah and Benjamin, 180,000 chosen men, accomplished in war.”

29 tn Heb “and the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah the man of God, saying.”

30 tn Heb “for his thing is from me.”

31 tn Heb “and they heard the words of the Lord and returned from going against Jeroboam.”

32 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

33 map For location see Map5 B1; Map7 E2; Map8 E2; Map10 B4.

34 tn Heb “he strengthened them greatly, very much.”

35 tn Heb “and the priests and the Levites who were in all Israel supported him from all their territory.”

36 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Jeroboam) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

37 tn Heb “for the high places.”

38 tn Heb “and for the goats and for the calves he had made.”

39 tn Heb “and after them from all the tribes of Israel, the ones giving their heart[s] to seek the Lord God of Israel came [to] Jerusalem.”

40 tn Heb “fathers.”

41 tn Or “strengthened.”

42 tn Or “strengthened.”

43 tn Heb “they walked in the way of.”

44 tn Heb “took for himself a wife.”

45 tn The words “and of” are supplied in the translation for clarification and for stylistic reasons.

46 sn Concubines were slave women in ancient Near Eastern societies who were the legal property of their master, but who could have legitimate sexual relations with their master. A concubine’s status was more elevated than a mere servant, but she was not free and did not have the legal rights of a free wife. The children of a concubine could, in some instances, become equal heirs with the children of the free wife. After the period of the Judges concubines may have become more of a royal prerogative (2 Sam 21:10-14; 1 Kgs 11:3).

47 tn Heb “and Rehoboam appointed for a head Abijah son of Maacah for ruler among his brothers, indeed to make him king.”

48 tn Heb “and he was discerning and broke up from all his sons to all the lands of Judah and Benjamin, to all the fortified cities.”

49 tn “and he asked for a multitude of wives.”

50 tn Heb “also I have rejected you into the hand of Shishak.”

51 tn Or “fair,” meaning the Lord’s punishment of them was just or fair.

52 tn Heb “the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah, saying.”

53 tn Heb “and I will give to them soon deliverance.”

54 tn Or “gush forth upon.”

55 tn Heb “by the hand of.”

56 tn Heb “so they may know my service and the service of the kingdoms of the lands.”

57 tn Heb “runners” (also in v. 11).

58 tn Heb “to the chamber of the runners.”

59 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Rehoboam) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

60 tn Heb “the anger of the Lord turned from him and did not destroy completely.”

61 tn Heb “and also in Judah there were good things.”

62 tn Heb “and the king, Rehoboam, strengthened himself in Jerusalem and ruled.”

63 tn Heb “Rehoboam.” The recurrence of the proper name here is redundant in terms of contemporary English style, so the pronoun has been used in the translation instead.

64 tn Heb “the city where the Lord chose to place his name from all the tribes of Israel.”

65 tn Heb “his”; the referent has been specified in the translation for clarity.

66 tn Heb “because he did not set his heart to seek the Lord.”

67 tn Heb “As for the events of Rehoboam, the former and the latter, are they not written?”

68 tn Heb “lay down with his fathers.”

69 sn The phrase the City of David refers here to the fortress of Zion in Jerusalem, not to Bethlehem. See 2 Sam 5:7.

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